Thursday, 5 February 2015

I would not like to be

the Prime Minister of Downunder right now. He is getting it from all sides. He is not popular.
He has never been popular with the media. They have been agitating for his removal from the time he entered politics. That was rather a long time ago. Since then he has been re-elected more than once by his own electorate. Presumably they do see something in him.
He was once the Health Minister in another time and I had dealings with him then. People tend not to believe me when I tell them that, as Health Ministers go, he was easy to work with. He actually listened. He took advice. If something was possible and within policy guidelines then he would see it was done. Yes, he was also autocratic and sometimes impatient. He was not always wildly diplomatic. But, things got done. It may have helped that I knew one of his colleagues rather well and she smoothed the path but I still needed to work with him. I also knew, perhaps better than most, that what people wanted wasn't always possible. Politics is about the possible - and that is not always what people want.
The present Prime Minister took the top job from a man I neither like or trust, Malcolm Turnbull. Both are former Rhodes' Scholars. While never actually a member of the "other" party Turnbull has been courted by  the Australian Labor Party and his views are more in keeping with those of the ALP.  He also has strong business links with senior members of the ALP.  
Turnbull lost the leadership of the  Coalition when he tried to get the party to accept a major ALP policy - the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. The present PM challenged him and won - by one vote. Some of those who voted for him were undoubtedly mindful of their own positions.
Turnbull deserved to lose but he has never accepted the decision of his colleagues. Neither has the media.
I suspect that, in the end, Turnbull and the media will have their way. People I know who work as journalists have told me that the media does not intend to give up on efforts to oust the Prime Minister. "We can make or break a Prime Minister. It doesn't how matter how good he is."
Yes, they can and they will if they can. They have done it before.
In the middle of all this we have a serious problem. We have a democratically elected government which is not being permitted to govern. The policies they want to put in place are being described as "unfair" - unfair because they are not the socialist policies of the Opposition. I love the sound of socialist policies which say that there should be more equality, that people should have fairness in the workplace, that childcare should be provided to all who need it and that everyone should be able to own their own home.
I also know that the reality is that we cannot afford to do these things without lowering the standard of living for all. That's not going to happen.
So perhaps the next best thing is to be rid of the debt and the need to pay $110m a day (and rising) in interest on debts alone. Then we can spend that money on those who need it most.
That's not going to happen. I suppose people will now tell me I don't understand economics. No, I don't but it doesn't stop me wanting to believe in Utopia - and wishing they would let the government get on with the business of governing instead of trying to prevent an implosion brought on by external detonators.

1 comment:

virtualquilter said...

I don't think I could trust Turnbull, but I know I cannot trust the media. They have made themselves more powerful than the PM by shaping the opinions of the public. They support their agenda, not an agenda to make the lucky country even luckier.